Ghosts of Ephesus
What does she think about, Ms cat, as she strolls these crumbling streets? Does she see the Ancient Greeks debating, haggling, loving and lusting? Does she breathe in the sea air of the old port as she listens to the roar of thousands, filling the amphitheatre with their cheers and jeers?
No. She feels the firm coolness of the stones under her paw pads. She smells the rain evaporating off the granite after a rain shower. She feels the dampness on her skin. She knows the best hiding places for the delicious Ephesian rodent. But of history she knows nothing. She neither constructs nor deconstructs it. She takes her pleasures in the now. Perhaps that is why we love her so much.
And yet, to our constructivist minds, the old city pulls at the imagination. What would its citizens think of the hordes of tourists blindly tramping the streets? Wandering blithely through the upper city which was reserved for only the highest of the elite. Ms cat urinating in the sacred places.
What were those ancient Greeks and Romans like? Were they proud of their beautiful city? Sophia, Arete, Ennoia, Episteme. Were they as elusive then as now? No matter how hard we try, no matter what treasures the archeologists discover, we can never really know. The history is tenuous and unreliable. And that is just imagination anyway. We can never quaff a toast with an Ancient Roman and get to know him. We can only imagine what life was like on these tourist-trodden avenues.
In a strange, poignant way, it feels like a loss.